My name is Nektaria Kokkinaki.
Professional accountant and mum of two beautiful little boys of Aristomenis and Anestis. For the last 16 years I have lived in Heraklion, Crete, which I have loved so much. This love, however, cannot be compared to my love for my place of origin, Kavousi, in the Lasithi Prefecture.
I’m not sure my description of my village will do it justice. Throughout this journey I will make many references to its beauty, traditions and culture, but mainly to its gastronomy. I lived and grew up in Kavousi, experiencing all the benefits of a child growing up in the village.
One of my grandmothers was from Asia Minor, the other was Cretan by marriage. I was immersed in two different cultures and both of my grandmothers were dynamic, with a strong personality.
So it was that I found my great love for food and especially for traditional Cretan food. The reasons were these two women, who will be our companions on our journey.
For me every recipe is not just a recipe. It is not a list of ingredients and a method. Each recipe is tied to a memory. Inside my mind, but mainly in my soul, are scents, flavors, funny stories but never sadness. So I would like to go through these memories and be able to create images for you. Throughout this journey that we will make besides various folklore that I will tell you about each recipe there will be a little story. Cook with love, imagination and of course your soul, so whatever you do will always be delicious. Food for me is the reason for people to be around a table.
Of course I would like to mention that this site is not a personal effort, but rather team work. To the friends who helped make it a reality, I thank them from the bottom of my heart for believing in me. Most would not want to give their names but I find it my duty to do so.
First of all I would like to thank C.R.M. Ariadne and especially Mr. Harris Manolidakis the marketing director of the company who helped sponsors this site. C.R.M. Ariadne is one of the largest Cretan Supermarket supply groups with over 140 affiliated stores. It has been supporting local producers and suppliers for years. It promotes Cretan products and delivers the best quality to consumers. Its slogan is: Think locally, your place is you.
I’d also like to thank my beloved girlfriend Helen Toktami, a housewife like no other! She was the main driving cause and reason for all this. Thanks to my friend Eleni Stavroulakis, a journalist who helped me with some of my editorial mistakes in texts. Also to my dear friend Stefano Rapani, photographer, for his excellent work and Giannis Remediakis, president of my village. Not forgetting Leonidas Koudoumogianakis, folklorist and journalist, for his valuable help in various folklore elements as well as photographic material. Finally, I’d like to thank the restaurant PARASTIES in Heraklion and the owner Harry Papadakis who offered us a location for the photography.